Healthy Holiday Cooking & Eating Program with Recipes included

  • Spiced Pumpkin Hummus with Pita Chips

  • Fresh Vegetable Tray & Dip

  • Fall Harvest Salad

  • Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

  • Green Bean Medley

  • Fresh Tomato Sauce with Whole Wheat Pasta

  • Roasted Fall Vegetables

  • Pineapple Carrot Muffins

  • Cucumber, Corn and Bean Salsa with Pita Chips

  • Apple Spice Hummus

  • Five-A-Day Salad

  • Kale & Cranberry Salad

  • Leaner Kentucky Hot Brown

  • Pumpkin Apple mini-muffins

Strengthening Family Relationships during the

Holiday Season

         There is no better time to strengthen the most important relationships in your life than during the holiday season. Holidays can be very busy and stressful, but they can also be opportunities to celebrate life with the people you love. Here are some ideas for strengthening family relationships during the holidays:

  • Shift your focus from what you have to get done to what you want to experience with the people you care about. There are so many things around the holiday season that we have to get done. It can make the holidays feel like one big giant obligation. Shift your attitude from obligation to your hopes for your family during the holidays. It may surprise you how much a shift in focus can do.
  • Make your goal clear. Let your family know that your No. 1 goal is to strengthen your family during the holiday season. Use language that makes it something everyone will want to do rather than something people feel forced to do. Communicate your goals for how you plan to strengthen relationships with each member of your family. When you communicate that you care about people and tell them they are your No. 1 priority, it can be amazing how they will respond.
  • Practice self-care. We are happiest and most likely to have positive exchanges with our families when we are taking proper care of ourselves. Get enough rest and eat regular meals. Do something you enjoy or have been wanting to do and take a little “me time.” You will surprise yourself when you realize how much more positive your family interactions can be after you have taken some time to care for yourself.
  •  Put down the technology and focus on each other. We all spend too much time on computers, iPads, smart phones and other technologies. The best way to strengthen family relationships is to do something together and focus on each other. Play a fun family board game. Volunteer at a food pantry or nursing home as a family. Bake your favorite dessert together. Tell jokes together. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, just do it together.
  • Spend time reflecting together as a family. What are your favorite memories from past holidays? What traditions are important to your family? How can we work together as a family to keep a focus on the positive? How can we work as a family to reduce stress? Sharing these reflections can help to reduce future conflict &  help people feel understood.


References: Brain Pathways (2013). Strengthening Relationships During the Holidays. Brain Pathways Blog. Available at  Source: Kerri Ashurst, Senior Extension Specialist for Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Kentucky; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


Home pressure canner gauges should be tested on an annual basis for accuracy. This ensures that the foods canned will be receiving the proper pressure in order to correctly process your items. Without the proper pressure, your canned goods may contain bacteria that could seriously harm yourself, your family or your friends! This service is offered to you at your local Shelby County Cooperative Extension office. You may drop off your pressure canner on a Monday and we will have the results for you the following Friday.

Home Canning Basics

Home Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products

Home Canning Salsa

Home Canning Pickled and Fermented Food

Home Canning Vegetables

Home Canning Fruit

Home Canning Meat, Poultry, Wild Game, and Fish

Home Canning Soups, Stocks, and Stews

Home Canning Equipment


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Shelby County Homemaker Newsletter:

March 2015

February 2015